In just about every electronic circuit there will be some signal that changes with time and in many circuits this signal may be continuous. For example the electricity from the mains supply has a sinusoidal shape (like an ocean wave). Another example would be the clock for a computer which has a square shape.

Imagine a scenario where a digital circuit has been created and requires a clock from an external source. One could be built especially for the task however the clock source would most likely have a fixed frequency. Even if one was designed to have a variable frequency (which takes time), the device would only output a square wave. This is where the humble function generator steps in!

Not only does the SFG (Simple Function Generator), have both a square and triangle output but the frequency is also adjustable. The square and triangle wave are generated by the same source and thus are always in the same phase which means that the two waveforms follow each other constantly (useful if both waves are being used). But how does this circuit work? What active devices are used to create the oscillations and how is the frequency adjusted? Let’s find out…



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